Thoughts on GOD’s FAVOR from Dave Gehrls
Everyone in vocational ministry will share about the dry times of struggling to be faithful to God’s call when there is little or no fruit…God allows these times to test, strengthen and develop greater Christ-likeness. Many can also share about times of God’s favor where they felt literally carried on a tide of God’s Spirit.
Jesus said He only did what He saw the Father doing…and that is the secret to God’s favor…learning to see with the eyes of Christ. Especially during times of God’s Favor we need to learn humility because, in our humanity, we will never fully arrive in this life.
I am definitely still learning to hear and follow God instead of asking Him to follow and bless one of my ideas…but several times this year we have experienced God’s Favor as the Lord led us to come along side a venture or initiate something. Each time I felt the Lord wanted to do something special…and each time there was a time when it looked like we were going to fail and I wondered if I had heard the Lord. But as we prayed and kept our eyes focused on Jesus, God showed up at just the right time and did something wonderful.
EXAMPLES OF GOD’s FAVOR in 2013:
The “More God, Less Crime” conference on April 28th which brought together about 150 Law Enforcement, City & State Government, Pastors and local ministry leaders for a day with Dr. Byron Johnson, one of the leading criminologists in the nation who has documented reduction in crime when churches get more involved with the police. Dr. Johnson was impressed with the level of synergy we have in Omaha that he feels is needed in other cities. We are already working on the next steps to involve more believers in needs facing our community. A DVD of the conference is be available in a few days…please contact me if you would like a free copy.
South Omaha Peace Walk in August: Homicides were up this summer especially in South Omaha. A young Hispanic woman had been murdered and dumped in an open gravesite. Instead of doing our usual First Responders PrayerWalk at the site I felt led to encourage the Hispanic Pastors alliance to call for a public PrayerWalk for Peace in South Omaha the following Sunday afternoon. The alliance leaders met Friday evening and Saturdaymorning we sent out announcements. Saturday afternoon Captain Belcastro got permission to meet at 24th & N and walk four blocks up 24th Street and back. I also got a call that Mayor Stothert wanted to come. Sundayafternoon, on one days notice, the Hispanic pastors with a police escort led a full block long walk of several hundred families including Mayor Stothert, her husband, and community leaders praying for peace on their streets and it headlined the TV news that night… GOD’s FAVOR!
South Omaha Stakeholders: After the August PrayerWalk in South Omaha I felt the Lord say the time was right to encourage “Stakeholders” in South Omaha. “Stakeholders” are the people, churches, businesses, police, government and community organizations who have stake in their local neighborhood coming together to take back their streets from those causing violence. In several North Omaha Stakeholders areas violence has been reduced as much as 80%. Southeast Precinct Captain Belcastro has come to every homicide Prayerwalk in her precinct and after several planning meetings we saw about 40 key leaders meet at a local grade school for an introduction to Stakeholders by Willie Barney in October. Children in this school speak at least six different languages and a several more dialects representing 15 or more different cultures many of whom are recent refugees from violence torn countries. At the end of this meeting they all committed to do Stakeholders and a local lead committee came together with a strong faith based leadership…GOD’s FAVOR!
Favor with City Leaders: Precinct Captains send officers to every First Responders PrayerWalk and often come themselves. Mayor Jean Stothert sends several from her personal staff to every FRPW and she has been to five since she was elected last May. For some reason Jean, two female Captains and a female Homicide Detective often greet me at PrayerWalks with a public hug…GOD’s FAVOR.
Favor with other ministries: We have developed significant Kingdom partnerships with many churches and almost every ministry in Omaha…we are Teammates not competitors.
And I could go on with current examples of GOD’s FAVOR in Omaha and Tijuana.
The Secret to GOD’s FAVOR: Seek to see with the eyes of Christ what the Father is doing then follow Him and get involved with a servant heart. Who does He want to Save Today, Heal Today, Set Free Today…?